Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Potential of invasive watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spp.) to remediate eutrophic waterbodies with organic and inorganic pollutants.

Abstract

Watermilfoil (Myriophyllum) is one of the world's most troublesome invasive aquatic weeds. Although current management practices may inhibit its expansion, it also impacts not only the quality of water but habitat deterioration. Therefore, the need for developing highly efficient and low-cost biotechnologies with resource recovery into the agriculture field as a complementary management strategy cannot be overstated. Here, we reviewe the scientific/grey literature to offer readers a precise and panoramic view of the invasive watermilfoil ecology, regional problems, impacts, ecosystem services, and management. In this regard, an in-depth review aimed to assess the potential for reducing non-point source inorganic and organic pollutants using invasive watermilfoil, with the sustainable approaches, while offering other services and mitigating ecological trade-offs is presented. Global distributions, growth, and current progress on the management and utilization of invasive watermilfoil biomass are summarized to develop the aim, which is to convey challenges during the implementation of large-scale weed use. In short, pollutant assimilation in plant and bacterial communities linked to this weed considerably contribute to the reduction and degradation of pollutants from both natural and artificial systems. Although several considerations in recycling and reusing biomass need to be considered, the potential reuse of the harvested material for livestock feed, compost and direct use in farming systems offer an additional strategy to achieve sustainable ecosystem restoration. Further research and development may focus on a more detailed economic modeling approach that integrates the costs (worker's wage, harvesting, transportation, and energy consumption), legal and regulatory barriers, health risks and ecosystem service benefits (biodiversity improvement, and pollutant removal) to holistically evaluate the economic, environmental, and societal value of reusing and recycling this waste material.